Thurrott Daily: July 14

Posted on July 14, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile, Music + Videos, OneDrive, Xbox, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: July 14

Tech tidbits from around the web.

7/14/2016 2:30:53 PM

Microsoft won’t force you to use Cortana on Xbox One

Good news for Xbox One fans who were worried that saying “Hey, Cortana” is a lot more tedious and time-consuming than saying “Xbox,” as you can now to control the console with your voice: Microsoft will let you do both. Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra confirmed the plans on Twitter this week:

New [Xbox One] Preview build at 6PM tonight. Gives some gamer choice options to use Cortana or Xbox commands and more.

Microsoft starts downgrading OneDrive’s free storage to 5GB

Remember when Microsoft announced that it would lower the free amount of OneDrive storage from 15 GB to 5 GB? And how they later let people opt-in to keeping the higher amount? Well, those who didn’t opt-in are starting to see their free storage allotment get downgraded now.Engadget reports:

If you didn’t sign up to keep the 15GB worth of OneDrive storage Microsoft gave out in 2014, you’ll soon see a big change in your account… if you haven’t yet. Redmond is not only killing your 15GB camera roll back-up bonus, it’s also slashing 10GB off your account, bringing it down to 5GB. The company started sending out emails about the change earlier this year, with a warning that your unpaid storage capacity would become even smaller than its original 7GB offering by either July 13th or July 27th.

The Moto G is now available

Motorola emailed me a reminder that its fantastic-looking mid-range new Moto G handset is now available for purchase:

The fourth-generation Moto G is universally unlocked in the U.S., so it works on both GSM and CDMA networks and is not tied to a carrier or plan, giving you the most choice possible. No matter where life takes you – whether you want to switch carriers or travel internationally – simply insert the SIM card of your choice and activate your plan. Moto G⁴ lets you keep your options open and focus on what matters.

In the U.S., the new Moto G⁴ will be available starting at $199.99 and Moto G⁴ Plus will be available starting at $249.99.

ZDNet’s Matthew Miller likes what he sees:

As configured, at $229.99 and $299.99, the Moto G4 is a third to a half of the price of the high end flagships, yet offers experiences that are likely to meet the needs of a majority of phone users.

The one specification that is lacking here is NFC, which means you won’t be able to use either of these Moto G4 models with Android Pay.

The only differences between the Moto G4 and G4 Plus are the rear cameras, front fingerprint scanner, and inclusion of the Turbo Charger A/C adapter in the retail package. The Moto G4 supports fast charging via the Turbo Charger, but the spec sheets state it will not be included in the retail package.

That review is worth reading if you’re interested in these phones.

Nintendo is releasing a mini Collector’s Edition NES that includes 30 classic NES games

YES! This looks excellent.

If you see a Nintendo Entertainment System on store shelves this holiday shopping season, you haven’t entered a time machine … You are setting eyes on the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, launching in stores on Nov. 11 at a suggested retail price of $59.99. That’s right: The NES is back! But this isn’t the same NES that you fondly remember. This new nostalgia-fueled system is a near-identical, mini replica of Nintendo’s original home console and plugs directly into your high-definition TV using an included HDMI cable. The console comes complete with 30 NES games built in, including beloved classics like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN, and Kirby’s Adventure.

The system comes packaged with an HDMI cable, an AC adapter and one NES Classic Controller, which is patterned after the iconic design of the original NES controller.

These games will be included: Balloon Fight ,BUBBLE BOBBLE, Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE, Dr. Mario Excitebike, FINAL FANTASY, Galaga, GHOSTS’N GOBLINS, GRADIUS, Ice Climber, Kid Icarus, Kirby’s Adventure, Mario Bros., MEGA MAN 2, Metroid, NINJA GAIDEN, PAC-MAN, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, Star Tropics, SUPER C, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, TECMO BOWL, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

Plus…

You can even enjoy playing several of these games with two players by attaching a second NES Classic Controller, which will be sold separately at a suggested retail price of $9.99. A Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro can also be used (each sold separately).

When connected to a Wii Remote controller, the NES Classic Controller can also be used to play Virtual Console NES games on a Wii U or Wii system. Playing these retro games using a retro controller makes the experience that much more authentic. And if you ever need to step away from the NES Classic Edition in the middle of a tough level (or take a break to call one of Nintendo’s helpful Game Counselors*), don’t worry about losing any hard-earned progress. Each game has multiple suspend points, so you can start where you left off at a later time, no passwords needed.

Amazing.

Eddy Cue on Apple’s TV Plans and Why Netflix Isn’t a Competitor

Bad news, Eddy: Apple TV is what isn’t a competitor. Still,this interview with Apple’s media chief is worth reading.

It’s still very unclear what Apple plans to do in the original content space.

We are only going into the content business [with projects] that we think are really tied to our products. Right now, that’s Apple Music. The rest of it is about giving [talent] a platform that allows them to be creative in new ways. If I was an agent, I would be very, very excited about what Apple is doing because it lets the people that I represent be able to do more.

We’re not trying to compete with Netflix or compete with Comcast.

How do you make Apple Music stand out against Spotify and other competitors?

It can’t be about a service that’s just providing the songs, because anybody can do that. It starts by the level of integration that we have within our product. Second of all, we do a lot of curation. Third is radio. The internet radio that you see are really long playlists. We’ve been trying to do live radio where you have actual DJs that are telling you the history, the things that are going on with an artist or with a song.

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